Ship Shares and death

Discuss the Traveller RPG and its many settings
Jak Nazryth
Lesser Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 795
Joined: Thu May 26, 2011 5:13 am

Ship Shares and death

Postby Jak Nazryth » Thu Apr 13, 2017 3:46 pm

My friend Robert creates a character.
He is one of 6 players at the table.
His character ends up getting 10 ship shares.
The rest of the group ends up getting 20 ship shares between them for a total of 30 ship shares.
They purchase and upgrade a Far Trader with triple turrets instead of double turrets.
Everyone is happy and the adventure begins.
On the first adventure, Robert's character dies.
Robert creates a new character with only 2 ship shares.
When his new character joins the party, how many ship shares does the party have?

in other words, what happens to a ship share when the character dies? I'm guessing it doesn't get removed, correct?

The new party has 32 ship shares?

In a bizarre way, can the ship be completely payed off via ship shares if enough characters die and more continue to take their place over the course of the campaign?
AndrewW
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 4351
Joined: Fri Dec 19, 2008 11:57 pm

Re: Ship Shares and death

Postby AndrewW » Thu Apr 13, 2017 4:02 pm

Jak Nazryth wrote:
Thu Apr 13, 2017 3:46 pm
in other words, what happens to a ship share when the character dies? I'm guessing it doesn't get removed, correct?
Normally nothing changes, it's already been used towards the cost of the ship. Though he may have some relatives that now feel they should own a share of the ship.
Jak Nazryth wrote:
Thu Apr 13, 2017 3:46 pm
In a bizarre way, can the ship be completely payed off via ship shares if enough characters die and more continue to take their place over the course of the campaign?
It's possible the new ship shares could be put towards the cost of the ship, like a new person coming along and purchasing a share in the ship with their ship shares.
AnotherDilbert
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 4248
Joined: Wed Dec 23, 2015 2:49 pm
Location: Sweden

Re: Ship Shares and death

Postby AnotherDilbert » Thu Apr 13, 2017 4:04 pm

Robert's character is a person that legally owns 1/3 of the ship. When he dies someone inherits his estate, probably his family. The new part-owners has to be bought out, possibly over time.

At least that is the way I do it...

To protect the business the partners can make wills leaving their parts of the business (the ship) to the other partners. If they trust each other...


The new characters ship shares are his equity that he can use to buy into the partnership, e.g. shortening or decreasing the mortgage.
Jak Nazryth
Lesser Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 795
Joined: Thu May 26, 2011 5:13 am

Re: Ship Shares and death

Postby Jak Nazryth » Thu Apr 13, 2017 4:40 pm

I suppose it's up to the players. A couple of the Life events create a romantic relationship for the character, but a player can simply decide if he/she has "next of kin".
I'll simply install a rule when a player has ship shares, they must include a will. It can be "to the ship" or "to my distant 3rd cousin"
This is meant to be a fun, sci-fi role playing game and not a reality simulator, at least not the way I run my games, So I'm not going to make things overly difficult. No lawsuits from ex-wives or ex-partners, none of that BS we have to deal with when not playing a game.
Epicenter
Banded Mongoose
Posts: 309
Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2009 6:37 pm

Re: Ship Shares and death

Postby Epicenter » Thu Apr 13, 2017 8:30 pm

Jak Nazryth wrote:
Thu Apr 13, 2017 4:40 pm
This is meant to be a fun, sci-fi role playing game and not a reality simulator, at least not the way I run my games
I think there's a few ways of resolving Robert the First's death and the situation with his ship shares.

* Ignore it. Robert the First is dead. Going through his personal effects, nobody could find any way to contact any next of kin. Or perhaps they do box up the personal effects and send them off with a letter explaining the circumstances to the next of kin and their only reply is: "Thanks for telling us" and the matter is closed. I highly recommend this method unless there's a good roleplaying reason to use the others as I feel it well defines the stereotypical Traveller as a drifter without roots.

* Make a Symbolic "weregild" payment. I honestly think the fear and recourse of lawsuits and legal wrangling hanging over EVERYTHING is a reflection the 21st Century we live in (especially in the USA). The Traveller universe is not like that - there is no instant communication, a simple legal negotiation between parties on two separate planets is likely to take the better part of a year - something complex that takes years on presently would take decades - it's just not worth doing unless one party or the other travels in person to negotiate in person. Planets can have vastly different laws and even planets with mostly similar laws can have very different results with just a few legal differences. People in a tramp freighter could just drift off to the next subsector or Sector over and never be seen again. I think all of this would make the next of kin less grasping unless the players are always hanging the same few worlds. In Traveller the New Era where I believe the idea of Ship Shares first got started, you could convert Ship Shares to cash - this was useful for a number of reasons. Ship shares had a low value (10,000Cr, if I recall) so unless there was no other recourse you never actually wanted to convert Ship Shares to cash. However, in the case of Robert the First, this may be handy. Simply convert his ship shares into cash at a certain rate, perhaps 10000Cr per share. Robert the First had 10 shares, so 100,000Cr. If this sum is paid out to relatives (this doesn't have to be a single lump sum paid at once) by some spacer custom, the affair is considered closed and the next of kin will not bug the players about their n'er-do-well drifter uncle. You could also reduce the amount of the symbolic payment, perhaps each ship share is only worth 1,000Cr or something.

* Make an adventure out of it. Perhaps Robert the First had powerful relatives he never told the players about. They come looking and want part ownership of the ship. Of course they don't really want the ship, so they're planning to sell off the shares - the players now have to liquidate their ship and pay these powerful relatives their share or scrape up millions of credits to buy them out. Or they can sit on Regina for years in expensive court proceedings the characters are unlikely to be able to afford. However, they're willing to waive the whole thing if the players help them resolve a certain pesky situation. Or the players become caught in some interfamily struggle that's been going on independent of Robert the First's death and certain factions in the struggle are willing to basically forget the whole thing in return for support.

As for Robert the Second's ship shares:

* I don't usually let replacement characters come on board with ship shares in the current vessel because it's hard to explain. The idea that some new guy wins part of the ship in a card game then wants to sign up as a crewmember gets old really fast.

* I personally have always felt that Ship Shares are something that you should be concerned about in the initial party creation phase. For replacement characters, I usually let the player reroll any Ship Share results that come up. This is my overwhelming solution to it as it is neat and quick and resolves the issue cleanly.

* Alternatively, Robert the Second might have part ownership in another, wholly different ship. When he returns to some starport on an agreed-upon planet, he periodically gets a sum of money representing his share of the profits of that ship. As a GM, I assume this ship is some typical Free Trader plying a trade route that brings in low but reliable profits operated by a reliable, unexciting captain just trying to make a living without any interest in excitement or adventure - in my view, the typical Free Trader. It may lead to adventure - though I usually don't bother. Or perhaps the owners have run into a spot of trouble and would like him to pony up credits for expensive repairs. Perhaps the ship skipped/was lost/got repo'd and there's either a lump symbolic payment from lawyers or the naval authorities want to interview the character to see what he knows. Or the ship was paid off, and something terrible happened and everyone on board the ship was killed. The somewhat intact hulk was towed into orbit by the Navy pending resolution of the situation - if Robert the Second can pay for the recovery cost the Navy will leave it in the 'long term hangars' of the downports of some starport somewhere and let him deal with it. Or he can just give the ship up and the Navy will sell it off to shipbreakers who'll send him a check minus their share and the Navy's cut (for the recovery operation).
Condottiere
Warlord Mongoose
Posts: 8294
Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2013 8:23 pm

Re: Ship Shares and death

Postby Condottiere » Thu Apr 13, 2017 9:30 pm

It could have been a limited partnership, with Robert the senior one, and the buy in would have been a ship share, though not necessarily giving a controlling share, rather the largest proportion when net income is distributed.

Get the authorities to certify him dead, buy his share out and deposit it in an escrow account.
steve98052
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 936
Joined: Tue Oct 01, 2013 6:13 am
Location: near Seattle

Re: Ship Shares and death

Postby steve98052 » Wed Apr 26, 2017 8:11 am

Mongoose rules on ship shares say that if you don't need the ship itself,* you get a periodic payment representing profits to an absentee part-owner.

So, Robert 1 has ten ship shares, making him the senior investor in the Far Trader, with 10% ownership, others control another 20% as junior investors, and non-player absentee investors own the rest (or the rest is the mortgage balance).

Robert 1 kicks the bucket, and suddenly his estate owns 10% of the ship. But he got his 10% partially through family connections, so the family has a claim on his estate. Suddenly an additional 10% of the ship is owned by non-player absentee owners, and whatever other player character in that 20% pool controls the next largest share becomes the senior investor.

Instead of the periodic payment player characters receive for ship shares in a ship they don't personally use, the party needs to pay the periodic payment to Robert 1's estate.

At some port of call, the ship encounters Robert 2. It just so happens that Robert 2 is a relative of Robert 1, and his share of the estate is one-fifth of the original 10% share, or 2% of the ship. Or perhaps some of Robert 1's heirs wanted to cash out some of the value of their share of the estate, and Robert 2 was the guy who bought the portion they cashed out with his mustering out benefits.

- - -

Another case:
Suppose Laura 1 owns a mere 1% of the Far Trader, and dies. Her 1% goes away to her heirs, leaving the party liable for a periodic payment to her estate.

Laura rolls up a new character, Laura 2, and she hits the jackpot for 16 ship shares. Suddenly she's the senior investor in the Far Trader, having bought out a big chunk of the ship from non-player absentee investors with her mustering out windfall. She may still have to prove herself to the rest of the party as someone competent to be in charge of the ship, but with that much of a share she has quite a weighty vote in control decisions over the ship.

- - -

The point of the examples is that the portion of the ship owned by player characters may decrease through death of a character who owns ship shares, or increase through arrival of a new character with a lot of ship shares. But unless there's a change in the total number of players, the number of ship shares controlled by player characters is limited by the number of ship shares a character can acquire through mustering out benefits.

- - -

* Why would you not need it? Suppose your character was a Navy officer and scored a share in a Shuttle, the rest of the characters had Free Trader shares, and the game-master rules that ship shares for a Shuttle can't be applied to a Free Trader. Then you get the payments for the Shuttle.
bluekieran
Mongoose
Posts: 106
Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2016 3:42 pm
Location: London, UK

Re: Ship Shares and death

Postby bluekieran » Wed Apr 26, 2017 8:48 am

Is it 1% per share? I thought it was ~1MCr value per share...
steve98052
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 936
Joined: Tue Oct 01, 2013 6:13 am
Location: near Seattle

Re: Ship Shares and death

Postby steve98052 » Wed Apr 26, 2017 9:21 am

bluekieran wrote:
Wed Apr 26, 2017 8:48 am
Is it 1% per share? I thought it was ~1MCr value per share...
There are an assortment of rules for ship shares, and maybe I'm thinking of one from another version of Traveller that has ship shares.
User avatar
alex_greene
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 3800
Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2008 11:29 pm
Location: UK
Contact:

Re: Ship Shares and death

Postby alex_greene » Wed Apr 26, 2017 11:32 am

There really are no rules on what happens to ship shares when a Traveller dies. The logical course of action is to assume that the crewmember will have signed ownership of the ship shares back to the ship upon his death, through some clause written into his crew employment contract and written into the documentation of the ship shares themselves.

I know that there are Travellers with an obnoxious hatred of paperwork - authority-hating Rogues, unscrupulous Merchants, loner Scouts, illiterate Drifters - but ownership of ship shares as a crewperson would automatically mean that they are signed up to the crew, which means that their employment contracts would automatically return ownership of the ship shares to the ship's owner, or to the ship as a business concern, upon their death. The clause would be included in the fine print stamped into every single Ship Share certificate.

So if the crewperson dies, those ship shares go into the ship's locker to be disbursed as needed by the ship's owner or Captain. And if the ship was a sole trader, with just one crewperson, the government takes the lot, ship shares and all, and puts it all up as a job lot and going concern for the next owner - with a nice surprise awaiting the next owner when she manages to crack open the ship's locker to find all those matured ship shares awaiting collection of their stipends, backdated to the last time they were collected.
Board moderator. Product List [DriveThruRPG]: Blood Path [Legend]; Cosmopolite [Traveller]; Castrobancla [Traveller]
Condottiere
Warlord Mongoose
Posts: 8294
Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2013 8:23 pm

Re: Ship Shares and death

Postby Condottiere » Wed Apr 26, 2017 6:40 pm

If you want to be totally fair, ship shares are a set credit level across the board.

If you're willing to spend some time developing this concept, present the players with a bunch of ships in varying states of repair and age, and inform them how far their shares will go with each choice.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests